Antonio Buonanno Leads 79 into Day 3 of Merit Classic North Cyprus


Photo c/o WPT

Antonio Buonanno stands as the reigning EPT Grand Final champion, and after a strong day of poker Sunday he’s positioned himself for a run at another major title in Cyprus.

Buonanno out-accumulated everyone else on Day 2 of the 2014 WPT Merit Classic North Cyprus and takes 428,000 with him into Monday’s action. Just 79 players remain in contention, with Dimitri Kataev (377,000) sitting sandwiched between a pair of EPT Grand Final champions – Buonanno and 2010 winner Nicolas Chouity (361,500). Oliver Price (318,000) already has an EPT Main Event final table and a WSOP final table to his credit in 2014, and he appears keen to add a WPT final table to that list as well, ending Day 5 in fifth place. Toby Lewis (298,000) rounds out the top 10, looking for his second career WPT final table.

Andrey Pateychuk and Dmitry Gromov are the last two WPT Champions Club members remaining in this field, and they’ll start Day 3 as short stacks. They’re joined by Day 1 chipleader and 2013 runner-up Albert Daher, Sam Trickett, 2012 WPT Prague runner-up Alexander Lakhov, reigning EPT Deauville champion Sotirios Koutoupas, Erwann Pecheux and Sofia Lovgren.

When registration was officially closed the field reached 404 entries, far outpacing the turnout for this event one year ago. A total of 45 players will enjoy the privilege of making a trip to the payout window, locking down $8,500 in the process. The top four spots are each worth over $100,000, with a top prize of $310,000 and a seat to the 2015 WPT World Championship at the Borgata next April.

Defending champion Alexey Rybin won’t be so lucky this year, as he ran out of chips before Day 2 came to a close. Dominik Nitsche, James Dampsey, Igor Dubinskyy, Paul Tedeschi, Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Manig Loeser and Mickey Petersen each suffered a similar fate, falling one day short of the money and three days short of a the final table.

Play resumes at 1 pm local time in Cyprus Monday, with the money bubble expected to burst fairly early on Day 3. The second Main Tour event of Season XIII on the WPT will crown a champion on Wednesday afternoon.

2014 WPT Merit Classic North Cyprus – End of Day 2 Chip Counts

  1. Antonio Buonanno – 428,000
  2. Dimitri Kataev – 377,000
  3. Nicolas Chouity – 361,500
  4. Seref Anar – 335,000
  5. Oliver Price – 318,000
  6. Christian Christner – 312,000
  7. Aleander Lakho – 309,500
  8. Andrii Nadieliaiev – 306,500
  9. Ori Miller – 299,500
  10. Toby Lewis – 298,000
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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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